Is This the Complaint Department?

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I hate to complain but…  there was a letter to the editor of Orillia Matters back on April 10th that really struck home with me. It was written by a lady who felt she was being nickel and dimed by retail stores and she was bang on. Now I am a gentle soul and would never attack a business just because their management are greedy scoundrels, but in this case I will make an exception and criticise the practice of my beloved Zehrs.

I like Zehrs. I like the layout, the people, their produce, and their meat although lately we have had to fry pictures of steaks and roasts because we can’t afford to buy the real stuff. Lately, however, they have been going overboard with this two-for, three-for business, and one of the shabbiest trick of them all, ten-for cat food. I almost fell for that one. I know, I know, stupid of me, but what can you do when you get old and are starting to lose it? (Actually I lost it a long time ago)     

Nicholas, our cat, who eats as much as all the animals in the Elmvale Zoo on a good day handed me his list one morning mentioning that if I was near the pet section, he wouldn’t mind a few hundred cans of Friskies to tide him over until the transport truck dropped off his next shipment.

I went to the bank to arrange a loan explaining I was expecting a large inheritance which apparently they found suspect and after signing over my car and first-born I was given a few dollars with the warning not to come back begging for more until the nation’s economy recovered from the latest government mishandling of just about everything. Off I went content in the fact that each can would cost 70 cents as they had in the week or two previously. Imagine my surprise to see Friskies were on special for the amazingly low price of ten cans for $9.00.

As I was wondering how the store’s management was going to explain this costly giveaway to their customers at the next stockholders’ meeting I started loading my cart. Suddenly it occurred to me that something wasn’t quite right. Getting out my calculator, I sat down on the floor and started cyphering. After only a few minutes I realised the cads had jumped the price to 90 cents a can.

I realize Galen has been struggling to come up with rent money for his tiny one-room flat or wherever he hangs his hat but does he have to raise the money by fleecing me and Nicholas?

And while we are on the subject of pricing, which whacko in their head office decided they should go nuts with the two-for three-for business? I guess it makes good business sense to sell two loaves of cinnamon raison bread for 8 bucks instead of 4.49 for one  but what advantage is it to Zehrs other than increase the dollars coming in to the store? Didn’t they just give away 98 cents? Come to think of it, that’s too much money for a couple of loaves of bread and I won’t buy any more.

Not only that, we have to solve the plastic bag problem. The stores have to stop handing them out (selling them actually) because they are a danger to the environment and I guess they are. I think we should go back to paper, but if we use paper bags again (which were infinitely better by the way) we will have to cut down more trees to make more bags and that is bad for air quality. I saw an e-mail the other day of a drone that can plant hundreds of thousands of new trees every day but it still takes years and years for them to grow big enough to be cut down again to make more paper bags and by that time we will all be carrying around oxygen tanks.

My solution was going to be string. Instead of stuffing groceries in bags, we could tie everything together with string and drag it home behind us. This morning I found a place where I can still buy cat food for 70 cents a can and bought 16 cans (a day’s supply for Nick) but as I was dragging them across the parking lot some jerk ran over my cat food train. Not only did he crush Nick’s Friskies, he flattened a $4 head of lettuce, a $5 tomato, and a $15 six pack of beer dragging along behind them.

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